The Embullà Mountain, located between the municipalities of Ria and Corneilla-de-Conflent (Eastern Pyrenees), possesses a large karstic complex with more than 20 caves situated at different altitudinal levels. Lachambre Cave, with more than 26 km of galleries, is the largest of these. The research carried out by the authors since 2011 has led to the discovery of several Middle to Late Pléistocène sites. Grotte de la Carrière is one of these newly discovered sites. The first paleontological survey, undertaken in May 2015, led to the unearthing of more than 2000 large- and small-vertebrate remains in eight different stratigraphical layers. The small-mammal assemblage from the richest layer of the sequence (layer 4) includes at least two insectivores (Talpa europaea and Sorex sp.) and eight rodents (Microiiis arvalis, Microtus agrestis jansoni, Iberomys brecciensis, Clethrionomys glareolus, Pliomys coronensis, Apodemus gr. sylvalicus-flavicollis, Allocricetus bursae and Sciurus sp.). This association is very similar to other Middle Pléistocène sites in southern France, such as Caune de 1' Arago and Grotte du Lazaret, as well as being similar to other Iberian Middle Pléistocène sites, such as Gran Dohna (TD 10), Galería and Sima del Elefante (TE 18-19) in the Sierra de Atapuerca. These data suggest an approximate age for Grotte de la Carrière - layer 4 of between 220 and 450 ka. The chronology proposed on the basis of the micromammal assemblage also coincides with the large mammals recovered and identified from this layer, mainly composed of the species Ursus deningeri, Panthera fossilis and Canis mosbachensis.
|Publication status||Published - 1 Jun 2016|
- Eastern Pyrenees
- Middle Pléistocène